Transcript: The Small Business Pivot, What It Really Looks Like


Megan Martin 0:00
This is talking small business with Kat Schmoyer. And Meghan Martin, a podcast for creatives who like to keep it real about what it actually takes to grow an online business,

Kat Schmoyer 0:09
where competitors turned to biz besties, who chat daily, and now we’re bringing you into the conversation.

Hey, y’all cat here. Welcome back to talking at small business. I’m so excited about today’s episode. So Megan and I are going to be diving into the trendy word we’re actually I guess it was like the word of 2020. But I feel like it’s still a little bit of the word of 2021. Pivot, alright, and if there are any friends fans out there, I always think of Ross with the couch, walking up the stairs like trying to pivot like literally, that’s what I always like, visualize that scene happening whenever I hear this word. But we want to talk about pivoting and pivoting specifically in your business. What we have done, how we have pivoted our own businesses over the last few years, and reasons why you might need to pivot and then how to potentially make that pivot be strategic for your business and for your family. So really excited about what we’re talking about today. We shared a little bit in episode one about our history. We talked a little bit about you know, Megan’s business history and my own business history. But we want to dig a little bit deeper into that today, because we have both made a lot of pivots in our creative small business careers. And that’s really helpful for you guys to have that insight on where we come from and and what those pivots have look like and why we made the pivots that we’ve made. So Megan, I’m gonna pass the ball over to you and let you kick us off with talking through what that pivot has looked like for you.

Megan Martin 1:50
Yeah, I’m I am what you would call a multi passionate

enneagram, seven,

enneagram seven. But I am definitely a multi passionate creative. And if you are a multi passionate, creative, I’m glad you’re listening. And you absolutely belong here. And you can and absolutely will be successful even as a multi passionate creative no matter what anybody says. So I’m just starting off with that to say that I have taken many, many, many, many, many pivots in my business. Since the day I started, I started I think in August of 2011. So I’m, I’m at 10 years this August. And in that 10 years, I have done many different things inside of this business that I call Megan Martin creative and it started like I shared in Episode One. As a wedding planner, I in 2011, we got married my husband and I on January 1 of 2011. And then I opened up my wedding planning business shortly after that the typical story the bride who loved planning her wedding wanted to do it for other people, like I own it, that was my story. And I really, really loved the design and creative aspect of wedding planning, which is why I went into wedding planning. So I was the girl who loved to, you know, design or like dream up the way that the wedding was gonna look from every detail from the large perspective all the way down to like what flower we were going to use in the bouquet, right. So my whole passion was about the creative side. And so as an enneagram seven now that you know, if you study personalities at all, you will know that an enneagram seven is not a highly logistical person. And so literally, even though there is part of a wedding planners job to design an event, the majority, the core of the wedding planners job is to keep the planning on track, right to create the plan down to the minute to the second, your your managing people as a wedding planner. There’s a lot that goes into it. And I am not a highly logistical person. If you read my Myers Briggs, I’m an ESF P. And it literally says that you repel structure. Well, it’s hard to put an entire event on and manage a lot of people if you don’t like structure. So I realized within a couple years of running my business that you know what I I am not I should not be a wedding planner. Yeah. I really shouldn’t be a wedding planner. And I loved I really did love the creative side. But I in my early days of wedding planning, I remember getting quotes from people to design my brand and website and I remember the numbers coming in the door as a brand new business owner we’re talking like, you know, this was back in 2011. So I’m not to say prices that I charge much more at this point to design a website but right When I was a baby business owner to get up to get a number of $2,000. to design your website was like shocking to me at the time, I could not afford $2,000, I started my wedding planning business on a whim because I liked planning my wedding. And Jeremy lovingly was like, No, you’re not going to spend $2,000 to design your website that you just randomly started this business for you No. And so I quickly realized that if I was going to have the brand that I wanted to put out there, the way that I wanted it to look, I was going to have to figure out how to do it by myself. And so I taught myself brand and website design, which led me to the next pivot, which after I launched a website for my brand, people started asking me if I would do the same for them. And that led me into my next pivot, which led me into my next pivot after that, which is selling digital products for the same people who were asking me for help, which led me to my next pivot, which was now teaching people how to sell digital products, when they want to know how I started selling digital products in the first place. But I really have like over and over pivoted, and I just enjoy exploring and trying new things in general, and I don’t want to do the same thing for the rest of my life. So pivoting has been really like the story that continues on in my business even to this day, 10 years later.

Kat Schmoyer 6:23
I love it. And it has always made me chuckle that you are a wedding planner. And now that I know you so well, I’m like, Oh my god, I love it. But I and I know you said like at the beginning, I loved the the shout out to all of our multi passionate friends and just you know, saying like, hey, like we see you and we hear you and like we’re very much like resonate with that mentality. And I think it’s really cool. Because even though Yes, wholeheartedly, you’re very multi passionate, and you have a variety of skills. I do see how one pivot has led you to the next pivot has led you to the next pivot. And so I know we’re gonna get into that, you know, in thinking through Do you need to pivot and how to strategically pivot but I hope you can see as like an encouragement, do you like hearing you say that like looking back, it is really cool to see one move open the door for the next move, which opened the door for the next move. And you couldn’t have necessarily seen that from the beginning. But now looking back, I mean, hindsight really is always 2020 Yeah, well, absolutely. Thank you. I appreciate that. But

Megan Martin 7:21
yes, yes, it’s like as I, you know, because I am the Explorer that I am. And I am not as afraid of failure in trying new things that a lot of people struggle with that kind of fear of failure, like my, it absolutely has, like progressed over time. Like when I start something new, and I try something new, I find something that like really fits and I excel at I’m it’s led to the next pivot. So it’s been a natural flow for me.

Kat Schmoyer 7:51
Yeah, I love that. I feel like I will actually I don’t know, you and I are both pretty risk averse. I don’t know if that’s just an entrepreneur, you know, thing. But I feel like for us, we are pretty risk averse. And so we’re willing to take a jump and see what happens. Sure, I’ve definitely done that. So mine is similar to Megan’s in that I started as a wedding planner as well. And similar to Megan in that

I didn’t actually even know this until we were having this conversation. But I started mine and did the very cliche thing of I planned my own wedding. So now let me start my business. So within just a few months of getting married, I launched my first brand, dear sweetheart events, it’s still a company that is up and running right now, I take very, very limited number of couples and I work exclusively at one venue. So for me, my first pivot didn’t come from completely, you know, reinventing the wheel in terms of going from one product or one service to another service mine came from, I’m just going to add more to the services that I’m already providing. So for me that came in at the pivot of creating creative at heart conference. And so launching that brand launching at that conference, I was a wedding planner, I was very in tune with the industry and seeing the ins and outs of the industry. And I felt like the need was education, that creative at heart offers. I wanted to create an in person event would because of my love for events and my heart for in person education. And so 10 months into starting my first business, I launched creative at heart, which then shortly after that became its own business like a true business entity, its own thing. So then this was back 2015 Now I have two businesses, and I’m running weddings. I’m doing floral design within my wedding company. I’m hosting the conference. We’re thinking through other you know, ways that we can serve and love our attendees. And what whether that’s digital products, you know what that would look like? And then I also started to get requests for more of me, people looking at me and saying, Hey cat, I want coaching from you. Hey cat, you should teach people how How to host a conference Hey cat, you should teach people how to be wedding planners. And that led me to start my third brand, which is the Kat Schmoyer brand. So my pivots have been very different from Megan’s and that like, I probably should have like, stopped and then started other things, but I just like kept adding, which is true to my nature of an enneagram. Three, I genuinely love working like I love a full plate, I love a long to do list, I really thrive in that atmosphere. And so for me, adding more to my plate was never something that I shied away from. Now that can be to my detriment, and I will totally be the first to call out those workaholic tendencies, the work life balance all of that, absolutely. But when just thinking on like the business side of things, it was something that I’ve just always enjoyed doing more. And so that’s how my pivots began was more and more, more and more. Now, over the years, since starting that first brand in 2013. I’ve had to scale back on things. So one of the ways like I mentioned that first brand, my wedding planning company, it’s still in existence. But I take five weddings a year, I work at the same venue. So I scaled back, I don’t offer floral design, I offer one package for all of the couples that I’m offering, you know, so I was scaling back knowing that there is only one of me, and I want to be able to do other things in my business or with my other businesses. So how can I stay active and still get to like wear that multi passionate hat where I do love wedding day, I do like what that means, but I’m not going to do 30 or 40 weddings in a year, I’m going to do five, when I have one package, it’s gonna be at one venue. So that’s how I like kind of manage that. And it was allowed me to pivot into having our conference. And so with our conference, we have it annually COVID pending, we have an annually, we have a membership community within creative at heart where we offer on demand resources for our attendees to be able to have access to content not just at the conference, but on a regular basis all throughout the year. And then my coaching brand has really grown specifically in 2020. And we’ll talk about that here in a little bit of like, why you might need to pivot and how to figure out the pivot. And for me, pivoting into coaching was a necessity. And I was able to scale that up right. Rather than scaling back, I was able to scale up with group coaching programs and mastermind programs and one on one coaching and integrator services and just ways that I could leverage my superpower and be able to lean into that. So it’s really cool. Even just in me hearing Megan talk through her pivots, sharing a little bit more about my pivots. And I hope helpful for you guys and understanding how truly multi passionate both of us are. And also the fact that like, gosh, we really have been around the block with a variety of different types of business models, variety of different clientele that we’ve been serving from services to digital products to tangible products, like so many different things. And here we are today, you know, continuing to work through pivots continuing to understand our ideal customer, and, and foresee potential pivots that are you know, going to happen in the future.

Megan Martin 13:13
Absolutely. Yeah, I feel like I I feel like I grew up with my business. Like I started my business in my early 20s. And so I don’t even feel like I knew myself in my early 20s. You know, like,

Kat Schmoyer 13:26

Megan Martin 13:27
You know, I don’t know about you, but I feel like the person that I was in high school is just so vastly different than the person I am today. And it was like I I went through this process during my early 20s of like, now that I’m not in that bubble that I grew up in, who am I, you know? And so I started my wedding planning business, right on the fringes of that part of my life. And so over the last 10 years, I’ve grown up and I’ve learned who I am and I’ve learned what I care about and what I’m passionate about. And so for me pivoting was, has been less about adding or a necessity but for me pivoting is about has been about like finding myself and finding what makes me excited to come to work every day. And so it’s just interesting even to hear like and I think this is a next perfect segue into like, let’s talk about why you might need to pivot what are the reasons behind pivoting? So I think catlike even talking about necessity verse I think this

is really powerful.

Kat Schmoyer 14:35
Yeah, so for I mentioned this before you guys but in last year in 2020, it feels like a lifetime ago. The pivot was an absolute necessity for my business. The majority of my revenue streams were tied to a service. Yes, I had digital offerings and I love the digital business model and we’ve talked on this podcast before about email marketing and about you know, utilizing your funnel No and all of that. But there was still a bulk of my business that was service, whether it was a wedding, whether it was the conference that we host, it honestly, even, I mean coaching as a service. So there was a bulk of my business that was service. And in 2020, as we all know, there was a pandemic, that everybody was touched by this pandemic, my business was absolutely one of those, we had to cancel our 10th conference, we refunded all of those attendees we lost out on those contracts, we, you know, had to go through that muddle through that, for my weddings, I was actually had my daughter last year, and so I had already scaled even further back on weddings than what I normally have. But the weddings that I did have, I was either postponing or canceling those. And so I felt like I was backed into a corner. And the pivot absolutely had to happen. For the revenue of my brands, like there was no if ands or buts about it, I needed to bring in something and How was I to do that. And Megan, I didn’t even mention this before. And I think this is super important. For those of y’all that don’t know, Megan and I’s businesses are both the supporting businesses for our families. And so Megan, and I are, it’s not only that, and this is not to say, if you’re a solopreneur, and you’re, you know, husband, your spouse has a wonderful job that you’re alleviated from the burden of, you know, having to provide financially. But I do believe that when your business is the sole financial provider for your family, there’s an added weight and an added pressure. And so in 2020, I absolutely felt that way of like, how am I going to pay our bills? How am I going to pay my family’s bills? I What am I going to do here? And so for me, the pivot came out of necessity.

Megan Martin 16:44
Yeah, which is, a lot of people and 20 had that same story, you know, which is why pivot became the word of 2020. You know, because so many of us were struggling, and you, you experienced that. Absolutely, and it was scary. It was even scary as your friend to like, walk alongside you and like, hear your story. And that. And so I think, obviously, if you realize that there is a serious necessity for your life, in order to support yourself financially, then you need to be able to entertain the idea of pivoting and cat you were able to like quickly create offerings that weren’t there. So you were doing, you know, your conference. And tell us a little bit about the offerings that you like quickly put together in order to make that pivot and start picking up the pieces. Again,

Kat Schmoyer 17:37
I mentioned before that I have three brands. And so the Kat Schmoyer brand was the brand that I really leaned heavily into in 2020. And one of those hindsight 2020 things, lots of the word 20 here, but hindsight really is 2020. And now I see even in last year of the pivots that I made with that brand, how impactful that is continuing to be in for my business in a good way in a positive way, like so I was making pivots out of necessity. But now I’ve seen so much fruit not just in the financial fruit, but in just like impact and my strengths and like just passion and love that I have for the work that I’m doing. So last year with having to cancel weddings having to cancel the conference, the pivot for me came down to Okay, what am I good at? What did my people need from me? And how can I deliver on these things? And so some of that was absolutely doing the hard work of Okay, well, what can I do, right? Like, I’m not a web designer, so I wasn’t about to like, throw up a show a template and like, pretend to like play and that’s like failed, it would not have worked. But for me and evaluating like, Okay, what am I good at doing, I realized it’s that quarterly planning the calendar part of things, project management, like taking a plan and putting it into action. And so I launched a group coaching program to show people how to do that with passive profit. I launched a mastermind program to come alongside women, high level, a lot of me a lot of zoom calls, a lot of box conversations, like, let me Monday through business with you in this high touch high level area. And thankfully, my audience responded really well to these offerings. So they were offerings that again, came out of a necessity, I needed to bring in revenue, we were not going to make our projections for the end of the year. But thankfully, I had some things I had an email list, I had a pulse on my audience and I was able to say, Okay, here’s what they want from me. Let me try to do this next and see what happens.

Megan Martin 19:35
Yeah, and you did really well at it. So I mean, now you’re it’s just a testament to see how your business has grown even in just the last year, and how those pivots have led to more pivots which I think we can get into in a minute but I think it brings another good reason up to dive into is so cat you pivoted out of necessity, which I think a lot of people can resonate with that story. But also, I think a real reason that you might need to pivot is because the industry is demanding you to pivot. And so this is like another lens of 2020. So for me, I pivoted and 2020 not because not out of necessity, so much like I was almost like, preparing for necessity. But I really pivoted, because the industry was demanding that I pivot, and I went along with that. And so my story in 2020 looked more like less like, you know, my I wasn’t seeing money going out the door, because I had to refund a bunch of people and contracts were being cancelled, and all of these different elements that cat experienced, but in 2020, I had a plan for what I was going to do, and how I was going to show up, and then COVID hits and the world shuts down, and my audience, I help people learn how to create and sell digital products. And so a lot of my audience actually is made up of service providers who are interested in the idea of digital products, but haven’t actually taken the first step to create a digital product or some sort of passive revenue stream and their business. And so when the world shut down, and literally everyone that’s similar to cat story is losing all of their contracts, they’re losing out on money, and they’re freaking out. About, what, how are they going to sustain their life and their family? Right? They immediately started turning to me for help. They said, you know, because I had experience running a digital product business, and I have been sharing about this experience for a very long time. So I came into a pivot, not because out of necessity, so much, but because the industry was demanding it and everybody needed help. And so in 2020, I opened up in membership for digital product creators, and had zero plan to do so like never on my radar. Was there a membership for digital product creators like cat and you know, this like I never once in 2019, or any year prior to it? Did I talk about creating membership for digital product? business owners? Right, right? Never. You told literally and you launched it in six days? Yes. That’s how it happened. Like the world shut down in 2020. People started dming me immediately, like, hey, I want to create a webinar, I want to do this, I want to do that. What tool should I use? How do you set up a sales funnel? You know, what sales page Do I need or what needs to go on my sales page? I mean, people were flooding my dams with questions about this stuff. And so Jeremy and I got the idea that we should create a membership to help people create digital products. And in six days, literally from idea to six days, we launched it because there was a massive need, and the industry was demanding it and we grew. So quickly, we grew to 1000 members in five months, which was just proof that the industry was demanding it. So if you are in a position where, you know, it might not be as dramatic as 2020 and my story, but the truth is like you can have your plans and girl, make your plans, follow Kratz quarterly plan, get her calendar, mark off, use your post it notes, do whatever you want, but you also need to stay nimble. And that’s the beauty of small business is that you’re not running a large major corporation that’s bloated and hard to pivot. You, as a small business owner have the ability to stay nimble. And when the industry is telling you that they need something that you can provide. You can capitalize on that, and show up and get something out there quickly for them, which is like what my story was in 2020? Absolutely.

Kat Schmoyer 23:42
I love that. And it really is such a testament to understanding what is happening around you, right, like having your eyes open. And for you. It was more of an obvious like, okay, people are dming me like I need to like, I need to do something about this. But also if you feel like you, you don’t know that you’re like, Oh, well what do my people want? You know, I like I’m trying to ask I’m not getting feedback, just keeping a pulse on the industry as a whole. Right? Like maybe that’s being in some Facebook groups with you know, whatever your niches if there’s, you know, your web designers and you’re in different Facebook groups or you’re in other membership communities are just understanding like, what are people asking? And how can you potentially like meet that need where they are?

Megan Martin 24:25
Yeah, yeah, I think so. I’m always always I feel like, have my eyes open. And that’s part of why I even use social media is because I want to consistently be able to have my eyes open, see what people are saying, see what people are struggling with, and figure out how I can use my unique set of talents to show up and provide for them exactly what they’re asking for, which is interesting, because that’s also part of your pivot story. Cat like, you had your like, dire need to pivot in 2020. But you’ve pivoted recently. Not so much out of necessity because but because people are telling you that they need something. So I’d love to like hear your 2021 pitch.

Kat Schmoyer 25:08
I know all the all the pivots here, y’all. Yeah, I mean, that’s really what it is, is I have slowly started sharing about you know a little bit more about some of the services that I’ve been providing for clients in terms of like integration and project management. And we can talk about that on a later episode. But really just utilizing my strengths of project management and understanding like all of the moving pieces of the puzzle, to step into other businesses and say, okay, hey, you want to launch a course. Alright, here’s what we need to do from A to Z for your business. Like, here’s your timeline, you need to do this by x day, send it to me, you need to do this by x day, like all of those things. And so really being able to like project manage other people in their businesses, I guess, it’s like the best way to say that, I’ve really been able to lean into the fact that I am a manager, and I do enjoy management. And I enjoy the problem solving that comes with management. And so for me, I started sharing about it super casually, a few Insta stories here or there. I think an Instagram feed post, like really, really casually. And people started coming started getting dm inquiries, I started getting email inquiries. And so I’ve been building an agency and building a team under me to be able to meet these needs, and to be able to say, Oh, hey, you need launch support, oh, you need project support. Here we go. This is how we can help you. And that’s definitely been something there. I love how Megan said like staying nimble. That’s what this is like. And I’m such the planner, y’all. And I know you can’t see the videos of us recording. But like, I’ve literally got the color coded like sticky note calendar on my wall like behind magnify, like as we record this, I like love a good plan. Give me quarterly goals, everyday all day, give me a Trello board with a checklist and a to do list and all of the things. But but in a small business sphere, we have to have an open hand with all of that. And so yes, that’s why I want you to have like the 90 day gameplan. But know that you’re going to make pivots within even that 90 day time period, as your customer is telling you certain things or as you’re starting to see things that are coming up. So I love what Meghan is talking about in terms of just staying nimble instinct flexible and open handed with the offerings and the services that you are providing so that you can make those strategic pivots, as the industry needs you to.

Megan Martin 27:35
Yeah, absolutely. I would love to talk about a little bit about Okay, so we talked about reasons why from a business perspective, you might need to pivot but I think an important conversation in pivoting should be also about what’s going on in your life, because the your business should fit into your life and not take over your life. And so even though this podcast is literally about talking small business, I don’t think we ever want to, you know, gloss over the fact that like our business are a part of our real lives. And so I think another reason why you might need to pivot is because either life is happening, or you’re not enjoying the way that your life is going. Right? So for example, a reason that you might need to pivot in my case I’ve pivoted in the past, because I’ve had children, you know. And so I remember in my wedding planning days, I pivoted after having my first daughter to not necessarily a new business, but how I was going to offer or how I was going to structure my business. I think Kat you talked about this a little bit as well. But like, for example, when I first got started in wedding planning, there was no rules. I could book as many weddings as I wanted to I had no kids. When I had Kennedy, my first daughter, I quickly realized I don’t want to be away for my daughter, you know, 52 what, you know, weekends out of a year, right? And so I pivoted and said, Okay, I’m going to change my pricing structure and the way that I offer my services so that I can spend more time with my daughter. And I ended up being only offering one planning client per month. And so that was a way that I pivoted to make my business fit into the lifestyle that I wanted. And I am super passionate about lifestyle design, which is why part of the reason why I do what I do today and why the bulk of my business, or actually all of my business at this point in 2021 is digital product base because I care so much about protecting my time and how Jeremy and I want to live our life right now and not waiting to work at that is that is a major reason why you might need to pivot.

Kat Schmoyer 29:56
No, I think that’s so great and it is also just such a testament To what you’ve built and what your like passions are when it comes to lifestyle design. Like I know, we’ve talked about that so many times and in our box conversations, but I love it. It is really inspiring, especially for you know, someone like me and your room three, more and more and more, what can I keep doing like I’m planning for when I’m 80? But no, I need to remember like, I want to have some of that right now. Definitely a really interesting, like mental shift. But also like coming from the fact that Megan and I are kind of being and Yang in this conversation. Like, for me, right now. In 2021, the bulk of my business is service, which is a super interesting pivot, like I went from pretty 5050 and 2020, pretty 5050 on digital products, digital revenue, and service revenue. And interestingly enough, the pandemic caused a pivot for more service for me, because it was, it was me it was coaching, or a mastermind or now with my integration agency, like it was those types of things. And so, super interesting to see that pivot, but I’m the personality type. Y’all were like, when people say like, you know, I mean, we’ve all heard the book, The Four Hour Workweek, probably, that sounds awful to me, like it legitimately like it, like makes me want to cringe. Like I would only get to work for four hours in a week. What do I do with my time, like what else happens? And Megan’s laughing me in this, but like, that is my mentality. And some of that I said this before, like, some of that can absolutely be to my detriment, right? Like there are workaholic tendencies at play, there are awful things about an enneagram. Three, when it comes to work, okay, they’re just really bad mindset shifts that can get in our way. And I say that lovingly to all of the other enneagram threes out there, like we are, can fall prey to those things. And but, but let’s also lean into the fact that that’s our superpower. And that’s our strength is that I do like work. And so if I can do work that I love to do, and have a family rhythm that is sustainable for our business, that I want to do that. And so right now, that looks like working four days a week from eight to 330. And I love that, like it is so fun for me that that is the life that I’m getting to cultivate is where I get to have those pockets of deep work time. But then I also get to wear the mom hat on certain days, and then get to have for Matt nine, the lifestyle design that fits our strengths and our personalities and our family, which is very opposite of what Megan and Jeremy are creating yet still really valid for whatever your personality type is, or whatever your family culture is.

Megan Martin 32:42
Yeah, absolutely. And we are so different in that way. Like you love to work four days a week, and I’m like, give me the four hour workweek. Right. But it’s true. You know, like Jeremy and I, you know, you have goals of you love to manage people and take care of a team and you have growth oriented mindset where Jeremy and I are like, what can we do to make just what we need and not do anything else? And then enjoy all of our week not working? So I really like would encourage you to think about what do you want your life to look like? And not just when you’re 80? What do you want your life to look like now? And is there potential in the in the services or products that you’re offering? Or the way that your business is structured? Is there a way that you can create a pivot to allow you to take steps to get towards being in that sweet spot of what you would like your life to look like I know for Jeremy and I like it was part of that pivot was bringing Jeremy home and now he works with me. Same thing for you cat like you brought Matt home and he works for you. And you have to take steps strategically in a pivot. So I feel like in the last few minutes of this episode cat, I would love to dig into like, how do we strategically take the steps we need to when we’re looking at pivoting in our business?

Kat Schmoyer 34:02
First and foremost, it’s definitely understanding why the pivot is happening, which we’ve just talked through, like several different reasons why it might need to happen. Is it financial? Is it because of your personality and just changes that you want to make to your business? Or is it because the industry is asking for something and so it would be the most strategic to make that pivot. So those are kind of three ways and reasons why you might need to pivot and before making the pivot it’s knowing why is that pivot happening for me 2020 a pivot came from I have to bring in revenue. There’s no if ands or buts about it. So what can I do that will still serve my people but also help bring in revenue. And so then in strategically making that pivot it came down to Okay, what would bring in revenue quickly? What are my options? Let me literally brainstorm what are the options to bring in revenue? What could I do either the fastest or what could I do the best like what what is the need? Hear, but understanding the why behind the pivot would absolutely be the first thing that needs to happen before even making the pivot at all.

Megan Martin 35:09
Yeah, so in your case, when it was out of necessity, it was like get scrappy, yep, do whatever it was like, just put your head down, do whatever you need to do, to bring in the revenue that you need to take care of your family. So that’s like, so understanding that why and the why of like the industry is demanding it, I think strategically, you’re going to look at that new project of like, through the lens of like, what’s the minimum viable product that I could put out there, or the minimum viable service that I could put out there to meet the needs of the industry and let the industry help me build my product as I go. So for in my example, when the industry was demanding that I helped them create digital products, I had the idea and launch it within six days, which meant there was not an entire course, or content built out within my membership, I created the hub where it lives in kajabi, and created a welcome video that said, this is where all the content is going to one day live. And I wrote one email that I sent out on the very same day that I wrote the email and created a sales page. And that was like the minimum viable product was like four steps that I took to launch this thing in six days. And then the I let my customers build the product with me. So again, it was not, it was not so much about like getting scrappy, but because my why behind my pivot was the industry is demanding it, I had a little bit more flexibility in terms of how I could approach that product. And let the industry build it with me because they were demanding it so highly anyways. And then from the perspective of lifestyle design, that maybe that the way that you approach that way. And I don’t know about how you feel about this cat. But I feel like sometimes when you’re approaching a pivot, because you want to make a change in the way that your life make a change in your life, right? Sometimes that involves sacrifice, sometimes you might have to take a pay cut, or you might have to take a step back. And so again, it’s really understanding like where you’re at from a financial perspective with your family, like if you need to get scrappy, get scrappy, but if you need to make a change, because it’s like, Hey, this is not working out, like maybe your marriage is suffering, or you’re not seeing your kids enough or you want to make a change in your life, I’m going to guess that you’re probably going to have to make some sort of sacrifice in that situation.

Kat Schmoyer 37:32
Absolutely agree. And I can look back at pivots I’ve made where that there was sacrifice. And that, you know, when we brought Matt home, that was a lifestyle design, like we wanted him home, we wanted the flexibility for our marriage for future kids to be able to travel to be able to you know, all of these things that we wanted to cultivate. So we were sacrificing what he was making for what the business could pay him, you know, and knowing like, okay, it’s, it’s not quite, you know, matching, but we’re willing to take that pay cut for him to come home and get to create this lifestyle that we wanted. And so I wholeheartedly agree that in order to have that lifestyle, there is sacrifice, and you are the only one that’s going to be able to weigh the pros and cons and know like, is the sacrifice worth it? And maybe it isn’t, maybe it isn’t, but you’ll you will be able to look at all of the pieces of that puzzle and decide if that is the best fit and the best pivot for the lifestyle that you want.

Megan Martin 38:28
Yeah, I think all in all, from this conversation, I hope that you feel encouraged that having to pivot or feeling a need to pivot is not a bad thing. And it doesn’t mean you’re failing in any way. You know, there’s different reasons why you might need to take a pivot in your business, but I hope you do feel encouraged that it’s okay. It’s actually sometimes a really good thing. You might learn something about yourself and about your customers. And, you know, that’s really the beautiful, beautiful thing about small business, and you should own it on your small business and the fact that you can stay nimble.

Kat Schmoyer 39:10
Absolutely. And just a word of encouragement to especially for my planner friends out there. You’re not married to any pivot that you make. So just because the industry is saying something or you maybe you’re feeling a poll and you want to try something new, like just try it y’all like I feel like I started out 2020 with makings necessary financial pivots. And now in 2021. I’m making some pivots to try out like oh, but I think people are asking me for this. I’m not really sure if this is the quarterly playhead for the year, but I’m just going to try it and see what happens. And it’s been really really cool to I hate to say like throw spaghetti on the wall because I don’t want it to seem like there isn’t any strategy. There does still need to be strategy. You still want to have a profitable business. You still want to serve your people really, really well. But sometimes you just have to try something offer the product. offer the service see what happens and see if the pivot can become a real actual 90 degree turn.

Megan Martin 40:08
I hope this episode today was encouraging for you if you are considering taking a pivot in your small business and we will see you next time catch you in the next conversation

Transcribed by


Catch another Conversation

More real-talk episodes with biz advice on what works!

Transcript: The Small Business Pivot, What It Really Looks Like

Transcript: The Small Business Pivot, What It Really Looks Like

Transcript: The Small Business Pivot, What It Really Looks Like

get the 411

Ever wish you could phone a seasoned biz friend to get the insider secrets on what it really takes to grow a successful small business?

10 things we would do NOW if we were starting our biz from scratch.

download the free guide (no opt-in required!):

Save yourself years of trial + error and learn the EXACT strategies we'd put into practice from DAY 1 if we were starting all over again today!

curious? Read the free guide now!

No opt-in required!